Preparing for Fatherhood

Preparing for Fatherhood is one of the most exciting experiences you will ever likely go through – as well as one of the most terrifying. With the coming of a child in your life, everything you have come to know is likely to change, and you will find that your whole lifestyle is different and new. While there’s no changing how scary this is, it is possible and important to prepare for these big changes and to thereby help yourself to cope and help to ensure that you are psychologically and physically prepared to ensure the child has the best possible upbringing.

It is important to be prepared for a child in multiple ways. You must not only be mentally prepared, but physically prepared, and there are some changes you need to make around the house and to your budget that will practically make the transition to this exciting new stage in your life much easier. We will look at tips on how to prepare in both ways then so that you’re prepared in every sense when the child comes.

Preparing Mentally

Preparing mentally is a big challenge and in truth nothing can prepare you for what it’s really like to be a Father. However that said it does help to try and be as ready as you possibly can be. Here are some suggestions:

Speak to Other Fathers

They know best what it’s really like to have a child and how much life changes. Particularly good are contemporaries – friends who were once ‘like you’ and have now had children. They will be intimately familiar with the changes you end up going through and they will be able to help guide you in a practical sense as well as an emotional one. At the same time it’s also worth speaking to your parents (particularly if you are the first Father in your friendship group). They are not only experienced parents who have been parents for a long time, but they also know you very well and were probably once a lot like you.

Start Making Changes

If you’re currently out in the pub every night, then this is something that will have to change once the baby comes along. It’s very much worth having a ‘go’ at this new life style and attempting to see what it would be like to stay in most nights and to get an earlier bed time. This way when the baby does come, it will be less of a shock to the system.

Plan

When you’re about to become a parent, it’s easy to focus on all the stressful aspects and on all the doom gloom and unsurprisingly this is likely to make you stress out somewhat. It’s important then to plan the positive aspects too, and to talk with your partner about where you are going to take them, how you’re going to decorate their room, and what toys you’re going to buy them.

Learn

There’s a lot to take on board when it comes to parenthood, and you can never read too much information. At the same time you can learn more interactively from antenatal classes and by watching documentaries. Essentially, the more information you absorb, the more you will understand what it’s like to be a Father and the more accurate your picture of being a parent will be.

Get a Pet

If your partner isn’t imminently pregnant, then you might have a while before you need to prepare for parenthood. In this case life experiences can teach you the most effectively what it’s like to care for something helpless and that makes a lot of mess and noise. The closest you can probably come to having a child is having a pet. So this is a great way as a couple to prepare for that eventual step – but do remember that there are certainly some differences (babies don’t like being left outside to go to the toilet) and that it will be considerably more difficult to look after a real baby/child than it will be to look after a pet.

Borrow a Child

If you want to know what it’s really like to look after a young child, then one of the best ways to find out… is to do so. Ask a friend if you can babysit, or if you can spend a day or two at theirs, and experience firsthand what it means to be a Father.

Preparing Practically

It’s all very good and well ‘feeling ready’ in yourself, but at the same time you also need to actually be ready, and you need to be able to prepare yourself physically and financially. Is the home ready to accommodate a child? Do you have the funds? Here we will look at some more practical funds.

Stock Up

There are various different supplies you will need as a new parent from disposables like nappies, to the more permanent fixtures such as push chairs and cots. You need to make sure that you have everything you could possibly need before you go into parenthood. So make sure that you have considered everything that you might need ready and stock up as much as you can on baby food and other supplies. This will avoid you having more to worry about when the baby comes. If you’re feeling the squeeze then putting it off until later won’t in reality save you any money, but you can try asking for some essentials as gifts from friends.

Prepare the Room

Your baby is going to need somewhere to sleep, and likely when you moved in, or when you looked around homes you designated in your mind somewhere to be ‘the baby’s room’. Now is the time to start making this into a real baby’s room – so move everything out of there and get some child-friendly decorations in.

Child-Proof the House

It won’t be long before your child starts walking and grabbing, and you need to make sure that when they do they don’t find anything they can hurt themselves with. Ensure then that you keep anything potentially dangerous or small enough to swallow out of arm’s reach, and generally improve security and safety features around your home.

Put Aside Some Money

If a child is one thing, then that’s expensive and you are going to find that your funds are never quite the same after the child comes. Ensure then that you have the money in place to cope, and try budgeting for a few weeks to see if you can live without the cash you are going to be spending on the baby. If necessary then try asking your boss for a raise, or seeing if there isn’t some work you can do on the side.

Preparing Yourself

There are some other little changes you need to make when the baby comes along and partly that’s to the way you look after yourself and the way you live your life. For instance if you smoke then that’s something that will be harmful to the child and a bad example as they grow up (not to mention that it’s another black hole for your cash flow). Things like smoking, drinking and profuse swearing are behaviors you want to curb – so make sure that you start to be the example that your child needs and you will be ready to be a great Father.



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